That is one of the most common things I hear from physiotherapists about CrossFit. But on the other hand, the biggest complaint I hear from CrossFitters about physios is that they don’t understand CrossFit.
CrossFit has grown from just 500 affiliates world wide when I opened CFNZ in 2008, to over 10, 000. And we have about 115 in NZ alone. Along the way it has become a catchphrase, a brandname, a highly recognisable term for functional fitness training.
This recognition has worked against it amongst some healthcare professionals who don't have a strong understanding of human movement. Their clients are coming to them saying they were injured doing CrossFit and the new term sets off a lightbulb. Injuries happen, no matter what type of exercise you're doing. And we can talk about the much higher injury rates of rugby and running all day..
But now many people, instead of saying I got my niggly shoulder at 'the gym' are saying CrossFit. The prevalence of injury in the general population is no different. Well actually, there are some figures that suggest it has risen, but it's in line with an overall increase in the numbers of people doing functional exercise - including bootcamps, and other group exercise programs.
It's a well proven fact that the cells of our muscles, bones and tendons respond to load. Mechanical load is what is needed to stimulate synthesis of new tissue. And mechanical load comes from movement.
So when I hear about people being told to do NOTHING to treat an injury, my blood boils.
The key is getting you back to good movement, not resting. Load does not mean heavy weights, it's as much load as is required to achieve positive change. If that is just walking and some light rehab movements, then so be it. But you have to do something, your body needs it to heal correctly.
Luckily, just like the world of fitness is changing for the better via CrossFit, so is the world of physical therapy. It now includes analysing movement and predicting injury risk, determining areas of potential injury, addressing strength imbalances, and improving posture, increasing performance, optimising movement and ultimately, health.
But also, just like in the fitness world, there are many of the old guard not prepared to listen, learn, research, and change.
If you do need some help rehabbing an injury, find someone who is prepared to help you get back to active movement, and work with your coaches to make sure of optimal progress, not someone used to treating inactive, unhealthy people who don't want to be helped. CrossFit is good for some physios, true, but it's the ones who are interested in working in partnership with us; with YOU to make sure you can live your life to the fullest.
3 x 5, all heavy
3 x 5
10 Push Press
10 DB Rows
10 Hang Power Cleans
3 x 3, all heavy
Strict Muscle Ups
3 x 1-3 reps
15 Push Press 45/30kg
10 Deadhang Pullups
5 Burpee Box Jumps 75/60cm